There is material on the establishment of tax systems—what was taxable and at what rates, how assets were assessed, and what the politics were of the collection system. It might seem strange to trace our antitax and antigovernment ideas to slavery instead of to liberty and democracy. There were times that I thought she tried a little too hard to prove her point and made rather broad generalizations, but it's clear that she's intending to start a bit of an academic fight and it's hard to do that without being a bit general in areas. American Taxation, American Slavery tackles this problem in a new way. Economic historian Robin Einhorn notes that most commentators tend to focus on two questions about American tax politics: how high or low, and how progressive or regressive.
American Taxation, American Slavery tackles this problem in a new way. Slavery was a major institution in the American economy, slaveholders were major players in American politics, and major political decisions, such as tax decisions, always had to take these facts into account. Einhorn's book begins with a comparative overview of taxation in Europe versus taxation in the American colonies and then moves on to a quite absorbing sectional comparison of how taxes were levied and collected in New England versus the South on the eve of the revolution. This surprising conclusion is one of the major findings of my new history of taxation in the early United States. A strikingly original look at the role of slavery in the making of the United States, American Taxation, American Slavery will prove essential to anyone interested in the history of American government and politics. Giving up the essence of democratic self-government, they celebrated the outcome as democracy. Slaveholders occasionally supported lavish government spending, but they would never yield the decision-making power to nonslaveholding majorities.
The Origin of the Tariff5. From the revolution and beyond, Einhorn constructs a detailed accident of how early politicians attempted to reconcile slavery in designing and funding the new federal government: from the debates around the Articles of Confederacy, the rise of early tariffs, the direct taxation compromises by Constitutional framers, to bitter political debates between Slave-owning Republicans and Northern Federalists. Proslavery representation rules—the infamous three-fifths clause of the U. Americans hate everything about taxation—with a passion. Intermittent rounds of hoopla aside, it has very little to do with the behavior of the Internal Revenue Service either. Rather than parsing the ideological pronouncements of charismatic slaveholders, it examines the concrete policy decisions that slaveholders and non-slaveholders made in the critical realm of taxation. It is her contention that slavery and the reaction to it to a great extent shaped the kind of nation we are today, because it shaped the kind of tax policies we constructed to fund the kind of government we got.
Slaveholders had little need for transportation improvements since their land was often already on good transportation links such as rivers and hardly any interest in an educated workforce it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write because slaveholders thought education would help African Americans seize their freedom. They have more to do with protections for entrenched wealth than with promises of opportunity, and more to do with the demands of privileged elites than with the strivings of the common man. Her detailing of taxation debates in this period provides interesting insight into aspects of the American fiscal system. As the members jostled with each other over this basic conflict of interest, they began to justify their positions by making claims about whether slavery was profitable and therefore made a state able to pay higher taxes northerners said yes, southerners said no. But here Robin Einhorn shows the deep, broad, and continuous influence of slavery on this idea in American politics.
Einhorn Subject: History Subject: United States Politics and government. Along the way, Einhorn exposes the antidemocratic origins of the popular Jeffersonian rhetoric about weak government by showing that governments were actually more democratic—and stronger—where most people were free. These were debates about the implications of slavery for whites rather than about the liberation of African Americans. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the author and the University of Chicago Press. Wars necessitate taxes, and using breathless primary source literature Einhorn takes us through the experiments of how early American colonies constructed tax systems to finance the Revolution. From the earliest colonial times right up to the Civil War, slaveholding elites feared strong democratic government as a threat to the institution of slavery. Regardless of which of these strategies they were pursuing at a particular moment, slaveholders were always trying to prevent nonslaveholding whites from talking about how the institution of slavery harmed them.
Along the way, Einhorn exposes the antidemocratic origins of the popular Jeffersonian rhetoric about weak government by showing that governments were actually more democratic—and stronger—where most people were free. They have more to do with protections for entrenched wealth than with promises of opportunity, and more to do with the demands of privileged elites than with the strivings of the common man. Very minimal wear and tear. Rather than parsing the ideological pronouncements of charismatic slaveholders, it examines the concrete policy decisions that slaveholders and non-slaveholders made in the critical realm of taxation. This book succeeds; one cannot dismiss the ways in which the political confrontation or evasion of slavery sculpted our country's institutions - especially the way we understand taxation. We are all familiar with the states' rights arguments of proslavery politicians who wanted to keep the federal government weak and decentralized.
About the Author List of Tables, Figures, and Maps Acknowledgments Introduction Prologue: Taxation without Representationand 160; Partand 160;I - Colonial Tax System1. Trying to figure out how to count the population to distribute tax burdens to the various states, the members inevitably faced the problem of whether to count the population of enslaved African Americans. Required reading for anyone who ponders the impact of slavery on our lives today. This is a serious mistake. A strikingly original look at the role of slavery in the making of the United States, American Taxation, American Slavery will prove essential to anyone interested in the history of American government and politics. She has written her work forcefully and lucidly; it is well worth the time of anyone interested in American Studies, as well as in the culture of slavery.